River Hill Distillery: Meet Virginia Makers

Locally Sourced – Family Produced

For over 200 years, our ancestors in the Strickler (now Foley) families have farmed the same land on the floor of the Page Valley. We’re located in the shadow of the Massanutten Mountain, where fertile land and easy access to water for irrigation have allowed for top quality grain production. Our location is a quarter mile up the hill from the Shenandoah River, hence our name, River Hill Distillery.

Today, some of our grain feeds cattle, while others feed thirsts. When we received our preliminary licensing in spring 2014, for the first time in generations our family was able to legally produce old family recipe whiskey! Owned by Fred and Amy Foley, River Hill is the first and only legal distillery in Page County.

We wanted to embrace the ”locally grown” ideology by using ingredients produced or grown at our farm or as locally as possible; Virginia has a lot to offer! Our corn comes from a field across the dirt road, while our barley is sourced from across the mountain.

In addition to distilled spirits, we also make fruit wines which we sell from our tasting room. Much of our fruit is harvested from Fred’s mom’s house down the road; the remainder we source from a few other local farms. During berry season, it’s not uncommon for everyone in the family to pick wild berries, sometimes over 100 pounds in an evening!

After a solid day of hiking off of Skyline Drive, a quick drive off of the mountain will find you on the traditional Main Street of Luray. Another quick drive into the gorgeous countryside of the Page Valley will get you to River Hill Distillery. This is Virginia beauty at its finest! A visit to our tasting room will bring you back to a time when families worked together to produce a product they’re truly proud of. 

When you visit the distillery, Amy will likely greet you at the door and handle your wine tasting, while Fred will give you an in-depth tour of the distillery and a whiskey tasting. David, Fred’s brother, will likely be in the building making wine as well! Each step of a tour of the facility will emphasize locally sourced, locally Virginia-grown ingredients, right down to the labor involved in the process. From the field to the bottle, Virginia has what it takes to make great wine and whiskey!

River Hill Distillery specializes in corn whiskey and bourbon whiskey.  Our whiskies all start with corn grown on our farm. The corn is shelled using a 100+ year-old hand powered sheller. After shelling, we malt the corn on premises in small batches to maintain quality. The malted corn is then used to produce mash; batches are typically less than 50 gallons, beacuse we believe in quality over quantity. 

River Hill Corn Whiskey is 100% made from corn using an age old family recipe. The Corn Whiskey is bottled at 100 proof (50% ABV). Our original River Hill Bourbon is made using farm-grown corn as the Corn Whiskey is, with the addition of premium smoked barley sourced from Copper Fox Distillery in nearby Sperryville, a hop, skip and a jump over the mountain. We then age our bourbon a minimum of 8 months in traditional oak barrels. It’s then bottled at 90 proof (45% ABV).

One day in 2015, we tried an experiment with great success. We had begun selling small bourbon barrels that our customers could purchase, along with our Corn Whiskey, to make their own signature bourbon at home. What amounts to almost a “make your own bourbon” kit allows our customers to taste the bourbon as it ages, tune in their bourbon senses, and truly enjoy the entire bourbon aging experience nearly from start to finish. We made a small batch ourselves just to make sure the results were something we’d still be proud of. The results were great, and actually lead to the development of a new product for River Hill. 

In April 2017, we started selling a new product, our River Hill 100. Our 100 is a 100% corn, 100 proof bourbon whiskey. A small departure from our signature smoky River Hill Bourbon, the 100, which started as an experiment, has proven itself as a solid performer. The 100 allows corn to truly be the star. With corn being a top Virginia commodity, it serves many purposes for the Virginia and local economies, though our preferred use is great distilled spirits! 

From the picturesque mountains, to the peaceful, winding Shenandoah River, Virginia truly offers something for everyone. With a location only two miles from Luray Caverns, River Hill Distillery attracts many visitors to the area. On an average day, we get to meet fantastic people that come from distances of a few hundred yards to a few thousand miles to see the beauty Virginia offers. We are happy to recommend restaurants and other local attractions to enjoy while visiting Luray. River Hill spirits are featured at The Speakeasy in downtown Luray and the Brookside Restaurant at the base of Skyline drive amongst other local establishments. 

Being considered the “Cabin Capital of Virginia,” there is no lack of vacancies in the Page County area most of the time, making the area an ideal destination (even for a last-minute weekend getaway). Because River Hill Distillery is situated on centuries-old family farm land, we actually have two houses we rent on a week or weekend basis that allow visitors to bask in the beauty of rural Virginia while being within a few hundred feet of the distillery. Imagine staying in a quaint farmhouse built in 1815 within walking distance of locally made whiskey!

We truly offer something for everyone during your visit to River Hill. From the gorgeous mountain views to the relaxing front porch rocking chairs, River Hill Distillery can please the most expert bourbon drinker or fruit wine lover. From our family to yours, we hope you make River Hill Distillery a stop during your Virginia travels so you can taste our Virginia spirit! Like Fred says, “Y’all come on in and let us show you how we make our whiskey!”